Busted…

…or more like completely busted. Our March food budget was considerably over budget. I will leave it at that. Use your imagination…it was not.even.close!!

So, instead of living in the past, I am looking forward to April, and a new $800 food budget. If I break that down by weeks, that is $200 per week. Sounds like a lot of money to spend on food for 7 days, huh? Well, I thought so too until I tried to turn the paper budget into reality. It all adds up on paper!! 

As I reflect back on March, here are some things I learned or noticed:

1. My children will buy their own food when they are desperate enough!

2. My husband eats A LOT…

3. I LOVE COUPONS!! However, I hate that OrganicValley.com will only let you print two coupons for the same item twice per year!! What?? Like we only use two organic creamers per year??

4. Planning meals for the month in advance makes a huge difference! No last-minute trips to the store for ingredients when you plan ahead.

5. Buying in bulk does save money, but it surely doesn’t help the monthly budget…that is part of what wreaked havoc on my March budget. We ordered from 3 different coops during March. However, the food will last for 2 to 3 months.

6. Self-control is a character trait that I seem to possess in lots of areas of my life…however, since the kitchen is like a naked canvas to me, I can get carried away with my tools of the trade…good, real FOOD!!

7. Gluten Free food is VERY expensive…even though I bake/make some things from scratch, it is still more expensive than mainstream baked goods.

8. Eggs are good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Talk about a blank canvas!

9. Speaking of eggs, I wish I had my own chickens…don’t think my neighbors would be so excited about having chickens for neighbors.

10. We also celebrated my son’s 3rd birthday during March…a dear friend suggested that I allow myself an additional $100 in the March budget since I made his birthday cake that would have cost at least that from a GF bakery. Even if I gave myself an additional $100 for March, we would still be considerably over budget…

So, here comes April. We will start from scratch and I will spend some time tomorrow planning our meals for April, clipping and printing coupons, and remembering to be very thankful for all that I do have. We can do this!

Thank you for reading and if you find any Organic Valley coupons that you will not be using, send them my way!! ( ;

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Busted…

  1. I understand! I will be doing my own food confessions. Btw, I hate eggs…Go Lizzie, you are inspiring and sharpening me!

  2. And likewise for you friend! I am excited about April. I feel like I have a fresh new canvas before me! Never knew you hated eggs! They are a staple at our place. When I have you over for dinner, I won’t serve quiche!

  3. I do hope you give yourself some grace with going over budget! Maybe after about 6 months you can do a review and then maybe come up with a realistic quarterly budget or something. Like you said, you had a birthday (with a FABULOUS cake!) and you did the co-op thing. And you have to factor stuff like that in. I know at least once every three months I have the expensive stock-up trip where I need olive oil (I only get the good stuff, and I buy the biggest bottle, which is usually at least $30), sugar (giant bag of organic cane sugar), etc… so I can totally see how you would go over budget at least once every few months. My grocery budget is $480 for the month, and I do well as long as I’m not buying the big stuff. (And I have two kids that eat less together than your average toddler, so that helps!)

  4. great advice, Jenn! I do extend grace to myself, but I am a little frustrated. I don’t think most families realize what they spend on groceries + dining out. Btw, what is your dining out budget, if you don’t mind sharing?? I, like you, buy the best ingredients, which makes budgeting more difficult, but I won’t compromise. And lastly, I have one toddler who eats more than 3 average toddlers!! Thanks again for the encouragement. I will journey on!!

  5. Our eat-out is $120 a month. Mama needs at least one eat-out a week! And we also each get a personal allowance ($30/week) that I sometimes use for lunch out with the kids.

  6. okay, that is helpful…I think our eat out is about the same, unless it is a month where a birthday is included!! Those darn birthdays!! ( :
    This is where we currently stand: we are going to allow $800 per month on groceries, $120 per month dining out, and $40 per month for individual allowances for me and Anthony. That brings our total to $1000 for the month, which is well below what it used to be…don’t even want to report that figure!

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